Browsing posts tagged "redundant array"

Inside Hosting; What is RAID?

December 19th, 2011 @ 8:25 am

Once in a while it is fun to take some time to discuss and explain some of the specific technology that is used with servers, web hosting, VPS hosting, and computer hardware in general. While many of our customers already understand these things, others do not and for them it may be interesting to learn about some of the terminology that is thrown about in technology discussions, as well as understanding some of the technical features we list as a part of our services. After all, what good is it to have named something in a feature list without the customer knowing exactly what it is and why it is important. This knowledge applies across all hosting platforms including VPS hosting, Linux hosting, and Windows hosting.

RAID is one of these terms that you will see referred to in advertisements as well as in discussions about computer hardware. RAID itself, as you likely have guessed, is an acronym and it refers to a redundant array of independent disks. Some will call it a redundant array of inexpensive disks, which in fact was the original meaning, but in this day proper use would be “independent”. The origin of RAID technology was the utilization of storage spread across multiple disks and disk drives, the goal of which was to save money using several inexpensive drives or disks instead of having to use a single high capacity disk. But manufacturers of RAID systems changed the name to “independent” from “inexpensive” for marketing reasons.

RAID is actually used today as more of an umbrella term for many types of disk storage systems. The single common feature of which is that the data itself is spread across an “array” or multiple drives and yet the operating system and user only see and interact with the array as a single disk drive. In other words, the user sees disk drive “F” which is in fact a 5 disk RAID. There are countless types of RAID systems all of which have a different balance between data reliability and redundancy as well as overall speed and performance.

Oftentimes you may see the word RAID followed by a number. This number is not the number of disks that are used in the array, but they are a reference to particular predefined types and configurations of the array. The specific reason as to why an IT person configures a specific system with a given RAID is chosen for many many very technical reasons that are beyond what most readers will find interesting. But at least knowing that RAID is simply a data storage technology using multiple disks that act as one is something that makes you more informed and gives you enough understanding of the word in order to know why it is being used.

We incorporate RAID systems in all of our hosting plans. Each of which is configured to maximize performance, reliability, and safety of all of your data. Whether you are on reseller hosting, Linux hosting, or Windows hosting you can be assured that our systems are utilizing the most advanced and stable RAID configurations available.

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